Elder Homes in China

By law and cultural customs, elderly parents in China should receive old-age support and eldercare at home and from family members. However, rapid social and demographic changes in recent decades have weakened the role of family in providing parental care in contemporary China. Since the 1990s, residential homes for the elderly have mushroomed in China not only as a new service industry but also as a new option for helping family members fulfill their filial duties through purchasing professional eldercare. Through interviews at several elderly homes in Beijing and Shanghai, this collective research project conducted by Colby students and faculty in the summer of 2012 explores the factors behind the rise of institutional care in China, the types of elder homes and services they provide, and the reasons why some elderly parents choose institutional care.